book review: Heather Ross Prints

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Heather Ross Prints (STC Crafts, September 2012) is a crafty take on the book + cd bundle. The disc contains dozens of files of Heather Ross's pattern designs based on her charming illustrations; the intent is that the reader print out the files on paper or fabric on their home inkjet printer. (The designs are also available to print on-demand on Spoonflower.) The completed projects include dishtowels, pillowcases, aprons, nightgown, stitched journal, notepads and other simple items. "It makes use of printers and computers just as much as it does sewing machines and decoupage glue," writes Heather in the introduction.

The book is amply illustrated with nice style shots of the completed project and how-tos illustrated by Heather. With the premise of the crafts being made from the files included on the DVD, then the eager crafter must have a certain level of computer prowess as well as patience to wait for a delivery of internet-ordered fabric in the mail. If you want to make a tablecloth, wallpaper, or other items specifically because you're a fan of Heather's illustrations, then having access to these files is a real treat. That being said, the votive holder, apron, cotton napkins, etc would be nothing special without using beautiful patterns and textiles. 

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The most interesting section of the book reveals Heather's step-by-step process of creating designs in Photoshop. With screenshots of the entire process, it is quite informative to snoop over her shoulder and see a scanned pencil sketch turn into a wonderful illustration and pattern design. For me, this section is the reason to purchase the book. I would assume that someone wanting to create digital fabric and use it in their sewing in fact aspires to print their own designs and this section shows you how. (Heather has some previews of these pages posted on her blog.)

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